Women's health | Health

Study Says Placenta is Cannibalism, Not 'Superfood'

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Associated Press

Research has proven there may not be any benefits of the rising fad of placenta consumption .

The praised 'superfood' is claimed to boost milk production, prevent post-natal depression and help in pregnancy recovery.

A study from the American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology said there have been no proven advantages of placentophagy (the act eating placenta).

"We found that there is no scientific evidence of any clinical benefit of placentophagy among humans, and no placental nutrients and hormones are retained in sufficient amounts after placenta encapsulation to be potentially helpful to the mother postpartum," said the report.

"Medically speaking, the placenta is a waste product,” said gynecologist and paper author Alex Farr of the Medical University of Vienna.

While acknowledging there are plenty of mammals who do consume their placenta in the wild, Farr explains the behavior is not common practice in any human culture. He compares the act to cannibalism, asserting the placenta is actually a part of the newborn.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention linked infected placenta pills a with possible transmission of group B streptococcus in a baby.

In 2016, an infant in Oregon became sick after consuming her mother’s breast milk. The infection was eventually traced back to the placenta pills the baby's mother had been consuming. The bacteria found in the capsules were identical to those found in the cerebrospinal fluid of the baby.

Despite the results of the study, several celebrities have been endorsing placentophagy and the benefits they've reaped from the experience.

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